Issue 2/2012, 4. Volume Page 65–83
How accurately do principals evaluate the strain experience of their teaching staff?
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Within the framework of expanded school autonomy design in Germany, school administrations have to deal with more extensive management responsibilities which include, among other things, a more health-oriented school design. But how do principals and teaching staff assess the potential strain factors in the school environment? How well do their assessment-scores correlate? To answer these questions, about 1,600 teachers from 45 schools in North Rhine-Westphalia were asked in an online questionnaire to evaluate the strain they experienced in six different areas of the school context. Their principals (n = 45) also evaluated the strain experience of their respective staffs. Overall, everyday occupational life at school is perceived as being slightly straining. However, there are clear differences between various areas of activity. While about 60 % of the data from principals stand in line with the data submitted by teachers, principals tend to underestimate the strain experienced by their staff. In particular, this effect is due to misjudgments in the area of conference and teamwork. The consequences of this lack of judgment accuracy for the fulfillment of a ‘health-oriented school design’ are discussed as well as the question of how an improved evaluation can be reached in the interest of principals’ professional management.
Diagnostic competence; Principal; Stress; Health Promotion